Richard III, Old Vic, London<br/>Lullaby, Barbican Pit, London<br/>The Beggar's Opera, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, London

Spacey swivels between hand-twirls and hollering in Mendes's 'stagey' production

Leading article: A king for all seasons

The quintessential actor, Samuel Johnson once said, is "a fellow who claps a hump on his back... and cries, 'I am Richard the Third'." Interesting then that Kevin Spacey, playing Richard III at the Old Vic, sports a hump which our critic describes as "brutally disfiguring".

First Night: Richard III, Old Vic, London

Mendes, Spacey and a flick of S&#246;ze &ndash; this is not the usual 'Richard III'

Spacey and Mendes join forces for transatlantic production of Richard III

Director Sam Mendes and actor Kevin Spacey have already tangled with Shakespeare's Richard III separately. Paul Taylor hears why the two Oscar-winners are coming together to explore the pitiless, power-mad, potentate in a landmark transatlantic production

On the frontline in the battle of the sexes

Morgan Lloyd Malcolm's first West End play, 'Belongings', will confirm her as an exciting new talent, says Alice Jones

Rupert Penry-Jones: Still waiting for his Colin Firth moment

An acclaimed Captain Wentworth in the ITV adaptation of Jane Austen's 'Persuasion', the actor stars in Sir Terence Rattigan's wartime drama 'Flare Path' which airs on Radio 3 tonight. Susie Mesure meets Rupert Penry-Jones

Edward Hardwicke: Actor best known as Dr Watson and as the 'Colditz' escape officer

The actor Edward Hardwicke will be best remembered for his television portrayals of two legends – one real life, the other from classic fiction.

Globe's summer season to launch with production of Hamlet

Fresh out of Rada, Joshua McGuire, 23, didn't expect to land the role of Hamlet on the Globe's UK and European tour so fast. The small-scale production, directed by the Globe's artistic director Dominic Dromgoole, uses an Elizabethan-style booth stage. The production will also launch the Globe's summer season on Shakespeare's birthday, 23 April. It concludes its tour at Denmark's Kronborg Castle, in Elsinore, where Shakespeare's Hamlet is set.

Tom Sutcliffe: Don't believe what you read in headlines ...

Social Studies: Do we even have a political culture that allows for intelligent discussion anymore?

Cause Célèbre, Old Vic, London <br/> Rocket to the Moon, NT Lyttelton, London <br/> One-on-One Festival, BAC, London

A downbeat Rattigan revival tells the true story of Alma Rattenbury, her young lover, and their murder trial

Second coming: How Alexander Ebert reinvented himself as a messianic figure called Edward Sharpe

Addicted to heroin and disillusioned with the music business, there was only one thing left for this scion of musical royalty to do: reinvent himself as a messianic figure called Edward Sharpe and spread the word of hope through music, mischief and mayhem

My Life In Travel: Niamh Cusack, actress

'I'm a country girl, I like being in natural places'

Cause C&#233;l&#232;bre, Old Vic, London

It says a lot for Terence Rattigan that while his sprawling, final 1977 play – a hybrid of family and courtroom drama chronicling a real-life murder in 1935 – lacks the devastating punch of other recent centenary revivals, it still knocks its characters off their smugly held moral high ground with more eloquence and ruthlessness than anything produced by today's current crop of playwrights.

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